Although it’s a small island, there’s a huge choice of accommodation on the island to choose from, as well over a million people come to Lanzarote every year, dwarfing the island’s own population.
Hotels here range from basic zero star to luxury five star. Most have swimming pools and none are far from the beach and resort area restaurants and bars. Recent additions are some very good quality rural hotels – ideal if you want to stay in the “real” Lanzarote. We recommend booking through bookings.com, who also have reader reviews of all their accommodation on the site. Here’s where to search: Bookings.com
Once again, the choice is incredible, from small one bedroom apartments and studios, all the way up to fabulous villas with private swimming pools. A small apartment can cost as little as €250 a week, and most complexes have a communal swimming pool. There’s a good selection on Lanzarote Information’s site here: Lanzarote Accommodation and if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, then try Alpharooms: Alpharooms Lanzarote
One of the island’s hidden gems, because it’s so inaccessible is the fabulous beach at Playa del Risco. Whenever we mention it, people usually respond with “Where’s that?” But amazingly most visitors to the island will have seen the beach – it’s the one you look down on from the Mirador del Rio!
These days, there are only two ways to get there – by chartering a boat, or by following the long and steep path down from the Mirador itself. There used to be a path from Famara, but it’s recently become impassable.
The path descends 650 meters in less than 2KM, so that should give you an idea of how difficult it can be – it’s not a trip for the faint (or weak!) hearted, especially when you remember that you’ll have to come back up! It was originally created for the salt pans which you can still see at the bottom. The workers (usually women) would have to carry bags of salt up the path, and the women of La Graciosa would use it as well to trade fish they’d caught for Lanzarote grown vegetables.
We had a brilliant day out over the weekend with our sister publication, Lanzarote Information, and a group of their advertisers.
It was the Lanzarote information Grand Prix, and it was held at the fabulous Go Kart track at San Bartolomé. It’s a really challenging circuit, with tight corners, plenty of hills and a decently long main straight. The karts are brand new, and the really go!
A visit to the place is well worth it when you come to the island – the track team are a great bunch and there’s a bar there for drinks or coffees.
Lanzarote is an incredibly liberal community, and gay people are welcomed into it, and integrated quickly within it.
Legally, Spain is well ahead of the curve as well, allowing gay marriage (only one partner needs to be Spanish or a legal resident of Spain) and with a judicial system that very clearly instructs judges against any kind of discrimination. Sodomy was legalised here as far back as 1822 (until then people convicted were burned at the stake!)
There may be some areas of rural Spain that still harbour some homophobia, and the Catholic Church, very much a part of Spain, still opposes homosexuality.
Lanzarote has established itself as one of Europe’s top sports destinations over the last few years. The incredible weather here and the stunning scenery makes it perfect for running swimming and cycling.
The first big event established on the island was the famous Ironman triathlon – a 3.8KM swim in the ocean, followed by a 180KM bike ride all over the island, and finishing with a 42KM marathon along The Strip! It’s renowned as the toughest Ironman event in the world, thanks to the massive climbs on the bike section and the threat of either very strong winds or high temperatures.
A lot of people mistakenly think Lanzarote might be a little backward when it comes to technology.
But the truth is we’re pretty well sorted! Almost all areas of the island now have access to broadband, and even in the rural north it runs at 6MB, which is fine for streaming television! We also enjoy cellphone coverage all over the island, as well as a pretty robust 3g network.
The Cabildo of Lanzarote have drawn up a strategic plan to attract the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) groups to the island.
Director of the Tourist Board, Héctor Fernández considers that it is vital that Lanzarote is developed to be a “Gay Friendly” place. The tourist board want to open the island up to the gay market as they believe these visitors have a higher purchasing power but also they will respect our sensitive environment.
It is recognised that currently Lanzarote has very little space dedicated exclusively to gays, although there are many local gay friendly businesses.
A new agreement was signed with Tom On Tour at the ITB Berlin travel show recently. Tom On Tour are tour operators who specialise in the gay holiday market, they will be promoting Lanzarote as a gay destination. They will be sending over a journalist during the month of May to write a special feature on the island aimed at the homosexual market.
Reader Allan Lamb very kindly replied to my request for suggestions of good places to go while on the island. Here’s what he had to say about Charco del Palo, which is on the coast near Mala in the north of the island:
I would suggest going to the naturist village / sand dunes of Charco del Palo / Mala.